OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Thursday, March 13


QUESTION: For those of you that have lived/worked/went to school in Ottawa, how did you find the city? Recently accepted a co-op job there and would like to know more about the place.


  1. Nice city to visit, pretty shitty to live in. Most things shut down at 6pm. RIdeau St can be sketchy, all the missions are very sketchy and stay the fuck out of Vanier.

    Byward Market, the Canal, and Heart and Crown are sick.

  2. I loved living there, but I lived in Byward Market and worked downtown. If you can, avoid living in the suburbs as my friends who lived there have a much worse view of the city. I joined Watpub and made a bunch of friends, so we did tons of exploring around the city which made my time awesome.

    Try checking out the bars/clubs around byward market and the Glebe if that's your scene. There's also free Museum nights on thursday. I know in summer there's some festivals (Bluesfest, Tulip festival) so those are things you can also check out.

  3. I think living there was boring as hell, As number 1 said, everything closes early. Transportation sucks. I felt depressed lol.

  4. I grew up there; after a while the city becomes boring, especially if you're used to somewhere like Toronto. You could probably find things to do over a co-op term, especially if you try your best to socialize with other co-ops in the area through WatPub, etc. Byward Market is nice, I don't suggest living out in the suburbs.

  5. Funny, I'm actually living up here while going to Algonquin College for a few years. Unlike some of the posters here, I'm over in Nepean which is a bedroom community like Mississauga to Toronto.

    Personally, I love the city. For the most part, it is clean, residents are pretty friendly and despite the fact that some places do close early, I find that there are plenty of things to do such as Winterlude, skating on the Rideau, biking/jogging/walking on the Capital Pathway trails, museum visits, etc. The Heart and Crown does kick ass, along with some other areas such as the Glebe, for example.

    The city does have some not so good spots, however. Vanier is the sketcher part of town though I have heard from residents that it has cleaned up in the past few years. There's a few pockets here and there that I wouldn't want to venture out in at certain times but other than that, I have never felt that I've had to fear for my safety up here.

    As said, I love this city, though I can understand how some folks might find it bland. I come from a small town that is about an hour and a half away Kitchener, so anything above my town is all good in my books.

    Oh, and I almost forgot. If you're using transit, OCTranspo isn't all too bad. It's an improvement over the GRT in my books, though both are golden compared my town's (supposed) transit system. The buses that I've taken when I don't want to take my car have been fast and effective. I've heard good things about the LRT (O Train) up here, and they'll be building more rail systems in the near future.

  6. I'm originally from downtown Toronto and I loved Ottawa. It's very different, but in a good way. The city is so beautifully constructed, and I tear up a little when I look over to see a panorama of the Canal and Parliament Hill. There are some sketchy areas / people and some residents are overtly xenophobic, but no major incidents happened. I loved all the museums, the local cafes, Byward Market, Elgin St., the Glebe, Preston St., etc. OC Transpo is decent and not too crowded, especially if you stick to the Transitway. The people in general are really warm and willing to speak to you out of the blue, which is weird at first but nice. The bilingualism is also one of my favourite aspects of the city; if you make an effort to speak with colleagues in French or take courses at your workplace (assuming that you work for the government) your language skills will improve so much.

  7. i LOVED it! it was the best city i lived in for co-op. The Byward Market is awesome to go to, to find places to eat with friends. There are beautiful walking/bike trails along the river. I lived near Carlingwood Mall, the neighbourhood was really nice and peaceful, more of a family neighbourhood so quite safe, I wasn't worried about walking alone at night to/from the bus stop.

    The great thing with OCTranspo was that if you bring in proof that you're a UW student on co-op (such as your job offer letter) you can get the student discount 4-month pass (something I couldn't do with TTC). The buses are pretty reliable, except for the ones going to Gatineau, those were always late or sometimes didn't even show up.

    Make sure you join the Ottawa Watpub group! It's such a good way to meet more co-op students and make good friends! :)

    1. 5/5.A here! That's funny! I'm not too far away from Carlingwood Mall. I'm over in the Copeland Park area off Maitland Avenue. I'm actually just a walk away from the Experimental Farm Pathway!

    2. I live around Carling/Woodroffe too!

  8. OP, make a watpub page on facebook and you'll meet people working there next term.